South Africa’s first democratic, black president was arrested on August 5, 1962, and his arrest warrant is now up for sale as the NFT.
A digital version of the original version of the 1961 arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela has been specially produced and will be available 61 years after it was first issued. (AP)
A South African digital auctioneer has said the NFT version of the 61-year-old arrest warrant for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela will be auctioned over the weekend in Cape Town.
“A digital version of the original 1961 Warrant of Arrest has been produced exclusively for Nelson Mandela and will be available 61 years after it was first issued,” start-up auctioneering firm Momint announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Selling art as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, uses technology similar to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The buyer receives a verified digital token, which proves that the artwork is an original.
“The sedition warrant is an exceptionally valuable NFT,” it said.
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South Africa’s first democratic, black president was arrested in southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province on August 5, 1962.
Following the 1963 Rivonia treason trial, he was jailed for 27 years at the Robben Island Prison in Cape Town.
The original document, dated 1961, now yellow, with crooked edges and stapled holes on one side, is handwritten in both English and Afrikaans.
It is being housed at the Lillyleaf Farm Heritage Site in North Johannesburg, which will generate proceeds from the sale.
Between 1961 and 1963, the historic farm served as the secret headquarters and nerve center of the then-banned African National Congress (ANC), which led the fight against white-minority rule.
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Mandela hid there for some time under the guise of an agricultural laborer.
Now a museum, the farm closed its doors in September 2021 due to financial difficulties.
The document was a request made by the prosecution to a judge, who had the sole authority to issue a formal arrest warrant.
“As far as we know, that’s what they used to arrest Nelson Mandela,” said LillySleef’s Foundation Director Nicholas Volpe.
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